The Oxford English dictionary describes the gallows as a frame typically wooden, used for execution by hanging, or as a means of torture before execution. Michael thought about this act and realized that many souls, innocent or guilty, have been tortured by the gallows. He thought he experienced the dark walk to the gallows once upon a time. It’s just that the executioner wasn’t able to complete the deed required to end his life.
It was depression.
You may wonder what depression is.
He looked it up in the Oxford dictionary again and it read, “feelings of despondency and dejection”.
Feelings of despondency and dejection.
Have you ever felt despondent or dejected? Well, if you said yes, you have been or are facing anxiety which can graduate to depression.
Once upon a time, Michael felt that way. He had no idea how it all started. Was it the rumours at work? Was it the fact that one of his best friends died of blunt force trauma when a train derailed him on the South Carolina railway tracks? Was it the 4,251 miles away from his family as an economic exile. Was it his unmonitored and lonely behaviors? Was it his useless, unfulfilling and baseless thoughts about what his incredibly successful, “honest” and hardworking friends thought about him.
To this day, he really doesn’t know. All he remembers was that fangs of traumatic experiences triggered emotions and feelings that lead to despondency and dejection. They crept up on him like a silent, dark and cunning serpent. Damn.
Looking back, that’s how he could describe it. One moment, he was the life of the party, the energetic and cheerful one until suddenly, he was the solemn one.
He was spending twelve hours a day on his couch eating nothing but the other day’s left overs. He didn’t feed the cat, Mittens and neither did he iron his clothes nor did he do the dishes.
He realized he got very comfortable and accepting of depression and unaware of the erosion and disease of his soul. He forgot who he was or once was and sank into a deep into a dark gloom and shivering panic.
He couldn’t even hang out with his illustrious friends, answer their friendly phone calls or remember the Lord’s Prayer because he was simply unwell and unable to decipher what to think or do next. This episode lasted for some time without Michal coming to the realization that his brain was unwell and unbalanced.
That’s what depression is. The next time you judge that weak, discouraged, depressed guy or gal, think of what you just read. You don’t know what trauma that person has experienced. They are not “crazy”. They are being tortured by the gallows I described above. It’s the valley of the shadow of death like Coolio said in the 90s. They are neither innocent nor guilty, and unfortunately, the gallows don’t factor character, your past glories or your bright future ahead.
The gallows steal and torture like a satanic demon with no care of your faithful contribution to society. We read too many stories of this happenstance all too much today.
Michael used to judge many of his friends or aquantances who passed away due to mental health only to realize it actually wasn’t their fault, but the due to a chemical imbalance.
Why is it that we judge those who end their lives because of a mental ailment of the mind or brain, yet we feel sorry for the chainsmoker who died of lung cancer? They experienced the same thing. They passed away. One slow, and the other, commonly instant.
Anyway, Michael wants to tell. you about the day his life changed, the day the pressure of his depression was released and alleviated to a glorious place and safe zone.
One Sunday, his pastor, Noble Man was preaching the fourth installment of the “Overwhemled” series and it was one of the most intriguing services he had ever attended.
Nobleman too, had been a depressant riddled with panic attacks and nervousness that could drown the Titanic without the iceberg. He spoke about how one day he was waiting for an 18-wheller to just take him out. Michael felt the same way. He would cry on his way to work – for no freaking reason, fear meetings with his friends or superiors and emails from his mother because he felt like a despondent failure.
The man on the stage was a Noble man and perhaps the reason Michael was inspired to not only pursue his dreams, but to battle on.
This is over simplifying the dynamics, but in Zimbabwe – generally there’s no such thing as depression. It’s called being weak or being bewitched by witchcraft. Many have ended their lives and we pray to the gods for answers, but don’t actually wonder if maybe, if maybe friends that have passed away were needlessly depressed and all they needed was some help. In Zimbabwe, we call it “kuroyiwa” or having a spell cast upon you. A spell was cast on our friends, right? Well, No! In the spiritual sense, perhaps but we should never believe and just rely on that! Michael truly believes evil exists amongst us, but so do good spirits, grace and mercy.
He thought to himself,
It’s just about what you allow into the gateway of your soul – so protect it.
This Noble Man stood in front of about 50,000 thousand people and depicted what depression and anxiety was for him and ironically, also for Michael as well. He articulated the fear of not wanting to go on stage to address his loving congregation because of panic attacks. Michael continued talking to himself,
“Man I feel the same way, except my congregation was my reflection in the mirror. I haven’t been able to love my self in a while and I haven’t supported my beloved Steelers in our best season in decades. The Noble Man just spoke of how suicide manifests itself.
Worry. Anxiety. Depresseion. Suicide.
That’s the common cycle of people that end up taking their lives. He then spoke about the people around him that saved his life including the doctors, the comrades, his now ex-wife and his precious family. He spoke about how we can’t pray for depresssion to go away. Generally you can’t pray sickness away. How about praying for you to be led to those that can bring healing and comfort?
The Noble man recounted how his doctor carried him away from the drowning waters of despair by providing a prescription to alleviate him from the excruciating weeds.
The doctor said, “If I gave you medicine for blood pressure, would you take it?”
He said, “Yes”.
He asked, if I offered you medicine for a stomach ulcer, would you accept the presciption?
Again, He said, “Yes”.
So the doctor continued, “If I offered you medicine because your brain wasn’t feeling well, why wouldn’t you take it?
Michael realized he needed to face the biggest battle of his life.
Peace ✌🏿 .
Michael’s hope & prayer is that if you’re facing the gallows, find a saviour, find a counselor, a therapist, a doctor or a trusted confidant. As the reader, if you know someone with depression or anxiety symptoms, you should offer a helping hand. You might save someone who might change the WORLD, not today, but certainly tomorrow. Help your comrades, be attentive to abnormal behavious and simply be present, without being overbearing. Michael is here to write this because of the Noble Man, Christ and the Samaritan brothers and sisters who gracefully offered and faithfully extended a helping hand.
Get the NOBLE MAN’S book here:
Dedicated to our “Red Devil” Ndudzo.
© SonofGuruve 2016